Influence

These are some of the writers, artists, and works that have influenced me as a writer. Each has been generative for me, showing me new ways to tell stories, new ways that are sometimes very old and abandoned, sometimes new and already abandoned. There are others, and there will be more. It’s a big Pantheon.

Edith Hamilton,

Shakespeare (of course!),

The Brothers Grimm,

Genesis,

Bob Dylan (of course),

Ron Sukenick, Thomas Pynchon, Donald Barthelme, Ishmael Reed,

Isaac Bashevis Singer,

Marc Chagall,

And most recently, David Milch and Milwaukee photographer, William Zuback.

Who are yours?

Links to Recent Publications

Most of my writing is genre-busting. Not prose poems, not flash fiction, not short stories, not poetry. Micro novels? Take a look at some of my work, and let me know what genre you think it is, or if genre just doesn’t matter.

“Caledonia’s Boxes” in Red Fez issue 56 (rated X).

“West End Blues” in Fringe issue 35 (rated PG).

“Snap-Snap” in Fringe issue 35 (rated R).

“Postcards from the Hecatomb” (with Petra Press), Fiction Fix, Issue 11, pages 20-39 (rated R). Reader’s Choice Award.

“In the Dominican With Satchel Paige” Cobalt Review, special all baseball issue. Selected as Finalist for the Jim Palmer prize! (rated PG).

” ‘Gin,’ Says the Zig-Zag Man,” Fiction Fix, issue 14 (rated R).

“West End Blues,” Burdock Magazine, Issue 11. (rated PG)

“Miriam Awakes,” Burdock Magazine, Issue 12. (rated R)

“Narrow Escapes,” Crack the Spine, October 2013 issue 83 (rated PG).

“Narrow Escapes,” Crack the Spine, Winter 2014 print anthology (rated PG).

“Scar Tissue,” “Post Cards from the Hecatomb,” “West End Blues,” “In the Domican with Satchel Paige,” “The Coroner’s Report on Captain Video,” and “Miriam Awakes,” six ‘zines published by Protect Me From Maniacs Press, 2014, available from the author. See post below.

“Holy Mackerel! Theater of the Absurder,” eBook of two 30-minute plays, “The Last Remake of King Kong,” and “Channel Zero.” Smashwords, (rated PG)

“That Old Black Magic,” 30-minute play, unpublished, staged reading performed 11/18/2013 at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, Milwaukee.

“Dinner Party of Horrors,” 20-minute play, scheduled for staged reading Summer, 2014.

“Psalm 23 1/2,” 20-minute play, scheduled for staged reading Summer, 2014.

“Video Prologue” to The Last Remake of King Kong, Red Fez, Issue 65. (rated G).

Video Trailer and all of Act II, scene i, “The Last Remake of King Kong,” Verse Wisconsin, Issue 113. (rated G).

Plus YA biographies of John Muir, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Abraham Lincoln for Crabtree Publishing, and YA, multicultural histories of American Sports and American Music for Marshall Cavendish. (rated G).

Two One-Act Plays at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

On Monday night, July 28th, it will be my privilege to present staged readings of two one-act plays for the Poets’ Monday series at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 1001 East Locust Street (in Milwaukee). The plays are “Dinner Party of Horrors” and “Psalm 23 1/2.” I’ll give more details as we get closer to 7/28, but for now, here’s the opening monolog from “Psalm 23 1/2:”

ACT I

Scene 1

1010 B.C.E, the land of Judea. The pounding
rhythms of Iron Butterfly’s “IN A GADDA DA
VIDA.” The dark and dank catacombs, 1001 steep,
spiral steps beneath a palace. The bottom of the
steps can be seen at the right rear of the stage.
Lit by torchlight, a cubic marble slab, about three
feet in each dimension. The front of the pedestal
is decorated with an engraving of Michelangelo’s
David, with a happy face covering his penis. On top of the slab,
the huge, disembodied head of the giant, Goliath the Philistine.

There is an open book on the pedestal. To the
right of the pedestal and facing the audience is a
secretary desk and chair. An old Underwood or
Remington typewriter is on the desk. The writing
surface is lit by a lantern.

We are in the bowels of the palace of David, the
Sling King, former shepherd and psalmist
superstar. Future King of all Judea.

GOLIATH

(To the audience)

Youse kidding me? I coulda beat him easy. Easy. Coulda knocked
his stinkin’ Hebrew block off. Gnashed his bones in my
teeth while he was still breathing, and he hears the
crunch before he dies. Easy.

I was G-Philly, Biggie G, Goliath the undefeated. 101
wins, no losses. I was what they call the “prohibited
favorite,” and that was my undoin. Dirteen to one.
Prohibited. That’s why they came to me. Lambs, they
said. More lambs than I could imagine. And young goils,
water goils, balancing dem water vessels on dere pretty
little heads, the sway of dere hips singing the glories
of Philistine history. In which I plays no small part.
All I had to do was was step into the stone’s arc, take
one on the noggin, and fall down.

And dats what I did. I took a dive. But Psalm Boy gets
it into his head to cut off mine. Dat was not part of
the script. His ad lib, my demise.

And he becomes the media darlin. Psalm Boy, dey calls
him. The Sling King, dey calls him. D-Smallie, Davy the
Shep. He gets dis honorary Ph.D. in giant slaying from
Jerusalem State. Mickey Angelo chisels him a
pornographic likeness to drive his groupies wild. And
what do I get? As you see, my head on a stick, stuck on
this slab, stuck in these stinkin’, freezing catacombs.
Listen. Here comes the Psalm Boy now. (c) David Press, 2014